During the five years Calder Classics has been in operation we have regularly revisited the basic questions of what we are trying to accomplish, and for whom. Gratefully, the answer remains simple: we believe that by engaging inquisitive minds in the accessible and vibrant aspects of the Classics, while avoiding the stale and arcane, we can offer students of all ages and backgrounds a deeper understanding of the world we live in today.
It is fundamental to the Calder Classics mission that our learning environments are defined by equality of opportunity, for without this any claim to offer greater understanding of the world would be hollow.
Einstein said, “all that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” In this spirit we created an advisory committee of teachers and former students called Equity and Excellence in Education. The first priority of this committee has been to seek partners to build scholarship programs that will help us fulfill this aspect of our mission.
At this time we are extremely happy to announce our partnership with Prep for Prep, a highly successful organization that identifies promising students from diverse New York City neighborhoods and places them in leading independent day and boarding schools. Please go to their website to learn more at http://www.prepforprep.org/.
Calder Classics shares Prep’s goal of providing equity in educational opportunity, and Prep shares our appreciation of the educational value of the Classics. Prep for Prep students benefit from strong preparation in Latin, acquired during intensive after-school and summer programs. When they are placed in top independent schools, students enter with a solid foundation in Latin vocabulary and grammar and an appreciation for cultural references gained from their study of the Classics. In partnership with Prep, therefore, we hope to offer selected students the opportunity to extend and reinforce their study of the Classics by joining us on our “Reading Latin” summer programs in Florence, Rome and/or Avignon.
To that end, we have enlisted our “Food for Thought” dinner events into the scholarship fundraising effort. Through participants in these events we have the prospect of widening the Calder Classics community around the Equity and Excellence in Education theme, while introducing new targeted donors to the Prep for Prep organization.
In November our first salon-style dinner to raise funds for a Prep for Prep scholarship was held in the Brooklyn home of photographer Joey O'Loughlin (http://www.joeyoloughlin.com). Attendees were treated to academic talks and engaging discussions on Classicist and modern writer, Elena Ferrante. Marguerite Shore, writer and translator of texts on Italian art and culture, introduced Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet from a cultural perspective, exposing what is lost in translation. Dr. Monica Alvaraz, PhD followed with a discussion of female friendships, analyzing the relationship between Ferrante’s two female protagonists from early childhood through mature adulthood. Diners offered a lively exchange of ideas inspired by our speakers, touching on the classical references throughout Ferrante’s work. Fine southern Italian cuisine was served by Chef Emanuel Concas of Mercato Trattoria in Hell's Kitchen (http://www.mercatonyc.com/), paired with wines from the region. Before, during, and after the dinner, attendees generously made contributions to Prep for Prep.
If you would like to assist in sponsoring a Prep student on a Calder Classics program this summer please go to the Prep for Prep website at https://www.prepforprep.org/giveonline and be sure to write "Calder Classics Scholarship” in the comments section.
Our goal for the first year of our partnership is to fund two Prep for Prep high school students on our trips to Italy, France, or Greece in the summer of 2016. From our first event we are already 60% of the way toward funding the first scholarship! Based on this successful start, we will continue to offer interesting and unique programming featuring scholars on topics that celebrate the Classics, while creating a comfortable and inviting environment for discussion among enthusiasts of all ages.
If you have an idea for, or would like to host a “Food for Thought” dinner, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raising funds is just one part of the collaboration with Prep for Prep. The other, even more rewarding aspect will be selecting the scholarship recipients. Together with a Prep advisor, we will choose from among the many outstanding Classics students in Prep for Prep partner schools to identify deserving recipients likely to benefit from a Calder Classics experience. We can’t wait to meet the new members of our Calder Classics community, and we look forward to exciting new experiences in 2016.
Watch this space for scholarship news and developments!
For more information on Prep for Prep, watch the video at the following link and be inspired!!